Lidge Blows the Comeback

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, August 25, 2009 11:51 PM | Comments: 180

Baseball’s an interesting game.  As we saw with Eric Bruntlett’s unassisted triple play, a player can make a mistake, but turn into the hero.  A pitcher could be the best closer in baseball one year, but the opposite the next.  A team could gain momentum, but it can be reversed quickly.

The Phillies managed to come back in the ninth inning, but just like Matt Capps, Brad Lidge ultimately failed to convert the save in the Phillies 6-4 loss.

On the very first pitch of the game, Jimmy Rollins’ line shot cleared the right-center field seats to put the Phillies on the board.  On the first pitch in his second at-bat, Rollins homered again.  Two pitches, two home runs.

Joe Blanton pitched a quality start; he lasted six innings allowing three earned runs.  However, all three runs came on home runs: Ryan Doumit’s solo shot and Steve Pearce’s two-run blast.  Blanton gave up six hits, walked two, and struck out seven. 

Ross Olendorf was just as effective.  He pitched 6.1 innings and gave up two runs on five hits.  The Phillies were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight men on base.  The Phillies trailed 3-2 heading into the top of the ninth.

Capps had trouble in his last appearance against the Phillies.  In that game, he blew a 7-3 lead thanks to home runs by Matt Stairs and Ryan Howard.  Tonight, neither were due up in the inning, but the bottom of the order provided the damage.  Carlos Ruiz started the rally with a double.  Ben Francisco drove Ruiz home to tie the game at three.

With two outs, Shane Victorino tripled, scoring Francisco from second.  In Little League, coaches stress that the first step is always back.  Center fielder Andrew McCutchen did not follow those rules and took the first step in.  It was costly. The ball sailed over his head and the go-ahead run scored.  McCutchen would get that run back… and more.

With Lidge closing, nothing is a sure thing.  Capps already blew his save, but the truth is Lidge has been worse this year.  Luis Cruz singled to start the inning against Lidge.  That was the beginning of the end.

Brandon Moss singled to right fielder, Jayson Werth.  Werth went to scoop up the ball, but bobbled it.  Pinch runner, Brian Bixler, rounded the bases and scored from first.  Werth fired to the plate. The throw beat the runner, but was off-line so Ruiz could not apply the tag quick enough.  Tie game.  Blown save, Brad Lidge.

The next batter was McCutchen, who had a chance to redeem himself.  He did that, and more.  He hit a long drive to straight-away center field.  Victorino kept going back, but so did the baseball.  It cleared the fence for a walk-off home run.

Lidge blowing saves is becoming a re-occurring nightmare for the Phillies.  He is now 0-6 with nine blown saves and an ERA standing at 7.33.  There has to be thought as to whether Lidge’s days as a closer are numbered.  Either way, the Phillies dropped a game to the lowly, last-place Pirates, a team they must take advantage of.

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Amanda Orr has written 713 articles on Phillies Nation.

Amanda has been writing for Phillies Nation since 2009.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    He shouldn’t have pitched 4 games in a row. That is asking alot from a dominant close and WAY to much from a struggling closer.

    He had two 1-2-3 innings against the Mets sandwiched around the bizarre triple play and seemed to be coming around. I think Manuel brought him out to test him…which of course, he failed miserably.

    Closer by committe worked for the 2001 Diamondbacks in the Wolrd Series after their closer gave up a few leads quite dramatically. i wonder if Randy Johnson and Shilling are available.

    I am curious to see if Lidge will be left off the postseason roster if he continues to struggle since there is no need for an unreliable closer.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Single Season Record is 14 by the following pitchers:

    1. Rollie Fingers 1976
    2. Bruce Sutter 1978
    3. Bob Stanley 1983
    4. Ron Davis 1984

    The following had 13 Blown Saves in a single season:

    5. John Hiller 1976
    6. Rich Gossage 1983
    7. Jeff Reardon 1986
    8. Dan Plesac 1987
    9. Dave Righetti 1987


  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Hey guys, there are other ways to deal with this. But releasing someone for blowing 9 saves is probably the dumbest idea Ive ever heard. You dont invest tens of millions in a guy and then release him after he blows 9 saves when the record is 14.

    Ive defended Lidge all year, but last night was a pure plain and simple disgrace. You cant trade him. You cant release him. You need to BUY TIME until he gets back to what hes suppsoed to be. Which means a DL stint or a “few days off” or something. Give him the time to work on it. MEANWHILE, they need a backup plan. I wouldnt hold my breath waiting for Myers. Id go out and find the best late inning releiver still available and get him. Even if its someones setup man, that will still help the cause. They REALLY still need to strengthen the bullpen. They have guys injured and not all of them will come back healthy. They really need to beef that up as we can plainly see. Allow Lidge time and space to get himself back into at least being decent.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Some of you guys, Im not calling anyone specific out, have NO historical perspective. IF he sets the single season blown save record then we can talk about potential drastic measures. But even with him struggliong like this its doubtful he will set that record because I think Charlie won’t let him.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    He also just SAVED two against the Mets, in a 9-7 win, and a 4-1 win

    He RANDOMLY looks really good.. and because he still sometimes has really good stuff. you can’t blame Charlie Manuel for going to his closer .. Ryan Madson has NEVER shown that he can be the go-to guy

    until Myers comes back, you have to stick with Lidge … and Im not sure that Myers will win that job either.. they will throw him into the fire in some 7th and 8th inning spots.. and see how he does.. we won’t know who our postseason closer is until about a week left in the season I think

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I kind of agree. I agree that he is random this year. When he blows a save, he will blow another one soon thereafter, and it will be really bad. Then hell be given a few days off and come back looking good and closing out some tight games. Myers will help the pen IF, IF he comes back in shape. I would still be pouring over the waiver wire though looking for the best guy you can find to add to the mix.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The biggest problem with Lidge is that he has already allowed more HITS this year then he did all of last season..

    He is allowing 1.80 Walks+Hits per inning
    and Batters are hitting .299 against him

    Lightning in a bottle last year.. we need to get our bullpen ready now.. JC Romero, Eyre, Condrey, Lidge, ..

  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    The Phillies always talk about how they have great chemistry and pick each other up when somebody makes a mistake. That was a great move by Lidge so that Jayson Werth did not have to feel like the goat.

    Last night I really wished there was a way to throw a beer at somebody through your television. Because I would have thrown one at Brad Lidge last night. That was a disgrace and he should have apologized to his teammates instead of claiming he was tired from pitching 4 straight days. Maybe he should have said that before they put him in the game. During the top of the 9th, they showed Lidge and Park warming up, and I thought that I hoped the Phillies scored some more runs because then Park would come into the game, and they would have a better shot at winning.

    It really is time to start letting some other pitchers get a shot at closing games. If Lidge has pitched two games in a row, let Park pitch.

    Finally, no more big introduction, music and flashing lights until Lidge can keep his ERA under 7.00 for a week.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Brad “Lights Out because he just blew a save, and we lost the game” Lidge

  • Posts: 0 Rich

    The biggest problem with Lidge is that he sucks!

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I’m really surprised that everyone is up in arms about this…

    Prior to this game, Lidge was improving… he had battled through some tough luck situations and it appeared as though he was going to be able to turn it around. He looked healthy again and he was locating his fastball… he was regaining confidence. Forget about Werth’s error because last night, Lidge didn’t have it… but why couldn’t Charlie/Dubee/Billmeyer see that? Why not throw Madson out there?

    I know that there are a lot of people that disregard the fact that he’s pitched on four consecutive days but break it down… he is a guy that throws as hard as he can for 15-30 pitches… I would like to see you try to do that for four straight days… think about it, how would your shoulder feel? After the game, he admitted that he didn’t have anything left in the tank. I put this one on Dubee/Billmeyer. I would hesitate to throw Mariano Rivera out there four straight days let alone a guy that has not been particularly effective… a guy that has had injury issues this year… a guy that is trying to regain confidence.

    At some point, we may be forced to go to Brett Myers… this situation has been completely mismanaged.

    By the way… this is exactly why this series scared me. The Pirates, winners of 5 their last 6, have enough starting pitching to keep it close and enough talent to pull it out late. Plus, I didn’t realize this but the Phillies record at PNC park is abysmal.

  • I’ll repeat what I posted yesterday. In the likely event that the Phillies meet the Cardinals in the post season, do we really want this year’s Brad Lidge opposing Albert Pujols with a 1 run lead and a runner on in the 9th? No way. We all need to pray the Brett Myers can step into this roll if the Phillies are to repeat a World Series Champs.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Here’s the thing…..and Morris Buttermaker….you touched on it….if Jayson Werth properly makes that play and throw, the runner is out at the plate we have a completely different inning. There is no way of knowing whether McCutcheon hits that homerun. That play by Werth was just as bad as Lidge’s poor pitching performance.

    I’m not in anyway defending Lidge here. He was horrible. But a proper play here and there and….who knows….he might have escaped the inning.

    Dipsy….to comment on your post about relief pitchers and closers….I just read an article on Earl Weaver. It was mentioned that in one year of his managing the Orioles (I’m guessing 1971 when the O’s had FOUR 20-game winners!!) that Weaver only made 167 pitching changes in 159 games. My how times have changed.

  • Posts: 0 Steve-o

    I’m with everyone else. I’ve stood up for Lidge all year, but this was it for me. He didn’t even record an out. Against the Pirates.
    If they keep him in this role, you can kiss a repeat goodbye. Hell, if they keep him in the closer role, you can kiss the chance to repeat goodbye. They cannot win in the playoffs with Lidge as their closer.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Don’t sell Andrew McKutron short, he is a very good player. He reminds me of a young Jimmy Rollins when Rollins was the ONLY elite young player the Phillies had – along with Burrell. Thats the stage the Pirates are at now. McKuteon is a top level talent. You dont throw meatballs to guys like that like Lidge did.

  • Posts: 0 mg52

    This whole “confidence” thing is unlikely to change. Nine blown saves already are hard to forget about, and there isn’t much time left in the season. He should be watching video not of the 2008 season, but of the 2004 and 2005 seasons, when – although he wasn’t perfect in save opportunities – he was arguably more intimidating with his fastball and slider and had a few runners on base each time. Then he should have some minor league outings to clear his head, then pitch in sixth, then seventh, then eighth innings. This process and only this process should take place. I do hope to see him fix things as a closer, but not this year. There is too much at risk. Too many teams gleefully anticipate his nervous arrival on the mound each game.
    Think of how much stress this places on the other pitchers: they have to hold leads so that they are not slim enough for Lidge to have to come in. And on the hitters: they have to increase margins also to preclude save opportunities.
    And it is best that the Phils not “suffer” with him until Myers or someone else is ready. No game should be placed on the line so that Lidge can fill in. Winning must remain the top priority.

  • Posts: 0 mg52

    fewer* runners on base each time.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Blaming Werth is a joke, right??

    Was he the one that gave up 3 hits without recording any outs?? Or the one that should have, but didn’t tell his coaches that he didn’t have anything left in the tank?

    nope.. that was Lidge.

    Look, he was GREAT last season.. it will go down in baseball history as perhaps the greatest season by any closer, ever … but that was 2008.. and it doesn’t do a single thing for me this year. .Lidge is hurting us more than he’s helping us lately

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Um, the problem is they have no otehr options. Myers isnt a real option UNTIL he is back and pitching WELL in the MAJOR LEAGUES. They NEED to get anotehr bullpen arm. Ive been saying that ALL FREAKING YEAR. Someone who can pitch in late and close situations.

  • Posts: 0 Whizwithout

    Heres my thought process on lidge…Our goal is to win back to back world series. Thinking ahead, the yankees are the most likely team, in my opinion, to be in the WS for the AL. Lidge blew two saves against them eariler this year. For the sake of lidge, our fans, our team, our city, lets not let lidge become another Mitch Williams. This needs to stop. Meyers = closer?

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    C’mon….Werth HAS to make that play. Period.

    Look….I’m probably one of the biggest Jayson Werth fans out there (although it seems like there’s not too many on this site sometimes). But….he looked like a little-leager on that play. The replay clearly showed that the runner stopped at third, hesitated and came home. If Werth doesn’t drop that ball and properly makes the throw, the runner is out by a mile at the plate.

    There is no way of knowing whether Ruiz could have then thrown out the runner at second, which he attempted, or whether McCutcheon would have hit the bomb.

    Yeah….Lidge was flat out awful. He wa getting hit hard. And if he would have managed to escape, there would still be lots of questions today about his effectiveness.

    So we can and SHOULD blame Lidge….and he deserves the Jeltz…..but Werth absolutely HAS to make that play. So….yeah….I’m blaming him, too.

  • Posts: 0 teejvee

    Well, I guess nobody’s calling Ed Wade an idiot any more are they?

    BTW, when is anybody going to start a thread about a certain player who has, I think , a grand total of one home run since the All Star break. And no, I am not talking about Feliz.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    5 pitches, 1 wild and 3 ripped. Not good.

    Anyone know if Trevor Hoffman was put on waivers?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Werth makes that play.. we have guys on 1st and 3rd nobody out.. and Lidge still can’t retire hitters..

    the pitch to McCutchen was a 93mph fastball belt-high, right over the plate..

    that is terrbile

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Don, you’re right on. 3ER without recording an out. Enough said about his performance last night.

    Now, for the rest of the season: I’d be really hesitant to make Madson our closer –not specifically because he didn’t do a good job when he closed this season, but because he’s doing a fantastic job as a setup guy… so why move him around some more and risk losing another valuable piece of the bullpen? I would throw Lidge out there for one-out or two-out saves, depending on the batter, and giving Eyre/Madson/Park/Walker some limited action in the ninth… Get Lidge’s confidence back up and then slowly let him have the 9th inning for himself (exactly just what they were doing before last night’s collapse).

    By mid-September, we’ll know if Myers can replace him. He’s had 2 rehab starts (2 hits, 1 walk, 4 K’s)… and he already hit 93 on the gun. Keep an eye on his rehab appearance at Reading today. Hopefully, he’ll keep improving and win the closer spot when he returns to the big team. He’s our best hope.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    You know….bring up Ed Wade and whether or not he made the right move by trading Lidge is just plain stupid. Seriously???…..

    Ok…Lidge sucks right now…..but he helped give us a championship and I’m sure Ed Wade has SOME regrets about making that trade.

  • Posts: 0 vito corleone

    im trying really hard to believe that reuben isnt going to let this continue……hes made every move that needed to be made this year so far……weve given lidge enough rope because of last year…..we need to mix n match closers right now….if madsen is lights out in the 8th, you leave him in….same with chan ho, eyre, etc…..but the way lidge is pitching is bordering on the unbelievable…..youd think he get an hour by accident at least…..ala the unassisted triple play….can u imagine if he had blown that one too????….enough is enough…..he fd up my whole night….

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    The waiver-trade deadine is in a few days Its different being a closer. You cant go TESTING guys out at it if you want to make a seriuos run at the WS again. Lidge needs to get right, period. They need to go get a backup plan NOW in case he doesnt. This guy should be someone who has or can close. He will close while Lidge is “resting”/getting himselg right. Then he will move to share setup duty with Madson whhen Lidge comes back. This has to be done – like, now. Lidge IS still our guy going forward. But they need someone to help him out this year while he works through his struggles. Lidge will be our closer for 2 more years, but right now they need to go get someone – whoever is left on the wire or who ahs cleared who fits this mold. They know this and I believe Amaro is working hard to try to add a little piece here or there to the roster. If you wait for Myers it could and may backfire. If he comes back, GREAT. If not, dont plan like hes going to and be stuck when he doesnt.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    teejvee who are you talking about?

    Home Runs Since the All Star Break:

    Rollins -10
    Victorino – 3
    Utley – 6
    Howard – 14
    Werth – 9
    Ibanez – 5
    Feliz -3
    Ruiz – 5

  • Posts: 0 Rich

    If Werth makes that play, we get out of it….blah, blah, blah. And if my Aunt had balls, she’d be my Uncle.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    No…Werth makes the play and the lead runner is out at the plate. The replay clearly showed the runner’s hesitation. TMac and Wheeler were all over it.

    Now there’s one out, runner on first. Who knows what happens next. You can’t say that McCutcheon hits the homerun, because the series of events has now changed.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The runner doesn’t go if Werth fields it cleanly … he was held at 3rd, and then went when Werth bobbled it ..

    So if Werth got it cleanly it was runners on 1st and 3rd

  • Posts: 0 Ron In

    So here’s where i get confused…
    Ol Chollie is quick as hell to shoot a vet down to the pen, for a still yet completely proven pitcher, will bench his star shortstop twice in the same month for doing two dumbass things. but he cant seem to NOT give his closer the ball when everybody in america, and curacao can see that lidge is clearly having issues, whether it be his “stuff” or whatever.
    at this rate, they should just give him some black glasses with a skull in the middle of the frame, trot him out to wild thing, change his number to 99 and hope for the best…

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Any chance we bring up Mathiason? He’s back on track. Threw two scoreless innings last night.

  • Posts: 0 Maverick

    Werth’s play or lack of is a moot point…. it would have been a 3 run homerun the next at bat had he fielded the ball cleanly.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Instead of partially blaming Werth, don’t you think that –perhaps, just perhaps– the team DOESN’T feel good when Lidge is on the mound??That groundball error by Howard a couple days ago… Bruntlett not being able to snatch that hit by second base… Werth bobbling the ball yesterday…. it’s like they all freak out and maybe try tooooo hard to make the normal plays because they now how shaky Lidge is…

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    This is why I hate Charlie. I never liked him and never will. He thinks he is smarter then everyone. He has a great team behind him. I want him gone. I am tired of this bullshi t…..A guy with a 7 era should not only be the closer but not be in the majors. GET HIM OUT OF HERE. 8 games up we could of been. Let them hang around.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Maverick…you can’t just asume that McCutcheon hits the homerun. The series of events would have changed so it’s not a given that he hits it.

    If Werth makes a clean play he DOES get the runner. The replay shows his hesitation and confusion irregardless of Werth’s play. The announcers confirmed it…that he would have been caught between 3rd and home…and would most likely have been out.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    There’s no defending Lidge at this point. 42 runs in 46 innings is friggin attrocious. I don’t even think he should be on the 25 man roster because he just can’t egt hitters out. I’d go with Park in the short term because you have Moyer as our long term reliever.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Or maybe plain and simple a not at 100% low in confidence Brad Lidge shouldn’t have been on the mound 4 days straight in the first place…

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Yeah…psujoe…and in the playoffs you could make a case for Pedro being a long-term reliever as well.

    Something obviously has to give. Forget Werth’s play last night. Let’s say he (Lidge) DOES get out of the inning and gets a save. So what??!!
    He would have been ineffective in recording it, just as he was on Sunday.

  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Yeah, I realized that he had pitched for like four straight days after I wrote my comment. That probably did throw him off a bit.

    But it still amuses me, all the excuses people make for him.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Chuck.. he broke back to 2nd base, and only advanced when he was sure it was past Utley .. he actually stopped after rounding third.. and then advanced home

    Watch the play:
    Bixler’s heads up baserunning..


  • Posts: 0 NJ

    How was Lidge ineffective on Sunday? The first two men on base where there because of errors on the fielding plain and simple, that wasn’t Lidge’s fault.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Buster Olney today said that in talking to advance scouts… they think he is still being bothered by his knee

    Brett Myers is a potential option, if its still so bad with Lidge

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    There’s a reason 4 days straight is considered to be the very limit for a relief pitcher, it’s like leaving a starting pitcher in after 110/120 pitches when there better be damn sure there’s a reason for it.

    Was last nights win ‘that’ important that Lidge had to be used for a 4th straight day considering his struggles? Under the circumstances I believe Lidge should only be pitching a 4th consecutive day in a season make-or-breaking game and I just don’t think last night qualifies.

  • Posts: 0 Mr. Phil

    Why do managers have to follow the “traditional” closer role and bring in a guy (Lidge) to pitch the whole inning? I have been wondering about this for quite awhile now. When Chan Ho Park is mowing them down for an inning, what’s wrong with sending him out there to begin the 9th??? That has been the case for a few games lately. We have many more effective pitchers than Brad Lidge right now. Last night Tyler Walker’s changeup or whatever that off speed pitch was, was baffling the Triple A Pirates. Like most fans, I am nervous when it’s “Brad Lidge Time”.

    With the exception of a few closers (Mariano Rivera) why is sending out one guy with that role for the 9th what every manager does? Why???

    Get the job done with the hot hand(s)!!!

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Because most of those “hot hands” cant get it done when they have the last three 3 outs to get in a late and close game. Its the reason Madson can’t close. It IS different when youre the closer. You think you can just “get the hot hand to close”? If that was the case then good closers wouldnt make 10-15M per eyar on the FA market. Thats the reason why Mariano Rivera is a hall of famer liek Trevor Hoffman. It is just so dificult to do that everyday for years. Im SURE that BOTH of those guys have had season where they blew 7-8-9-10 saves even.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I think managers are very apprehensive of sending relief pitchers to the mound for just an out unless its the LOOGY for those tough innings, so often relief pitchers seem to come in and not have immediate control of their pitches and start walking guys or leaving something meaty over the plate, without a guy already warmed up its tough for the manager to make another move and most relievers do struggle coming into a game with runners on when their not warmed up.

    Also not saying this is something that crosses a managers mind, but it’s the pitcher who gets the blame for blowing up on the mound although when a manager goes all Tony La Russa/Joe Torre with the bullpen and it backfires then fingers do start to point towards the dugout.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Ok…impressive: Mariano Rivera blew 7 saves in 2001, thats his career high. Hoffman blew 7 saves twice. 2000 & 2007.

    THATS how good those guys are. Lidge is not in that category we know. But hes still one of the better closers in baseball when hes himself.

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